While most of us would like to think cartoons are innocent, you’ll be surprised to know that there are some popular cartoons (episodes and animated films included) that have been banned in various countries for their controversial content. 

Don’t believe me? Check out this list. 

1. An episode of Peppa Pig where the pigs started to live with a spider was banned throughout Australia. 

In one episode, kids were taught to be friendly to spiders and bugs in general, but that kind of advice for a country like Australia where more than 10,000 species of spiders (some highly poisonous) live, seemed highly risky and dangerous. So, the ban was put in place. 


2. Certain episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants were banned in more than 120 countries, including the USA, China, Russia, Europe, Australia. 

One of the major reasons many episodes of this cartoon were banned in various countries was because of violence and the use of foul language. In fact, an episode where Squidward contemplates suicide was taken off air. 


3. Some episodes of the popular cartoon Tom & Jerry were taken off air across the world for featuring offensive scenes. 

Many controversial scenes from the Tom and Jerry were deleted and some episodes were also banned as it glorified unpunished violence. Some scenes in the cartoon also showed the characters smoking, drinking alcohol and indulging in harmful substance abuse, which lets just say isn’t appropriate for kids.


4. An episode from the Tiny Toon Adventures was banned throughout the world for showing characters consuming alcohol. 

In an episode called “One beer”, characters wish to steal a bottle of beer which of course isn’t acceptable in anyway, keeping in mind that this cartoon was for children. The episode was soon taken off air. 


5. Shrek 2 was banned in Israel for making sexual hints and insulting public figures. 

In one controversial scene in the original movie, the heroes say “to bobbit,” pointing to the fact that they want to cut off one character’s biological organs. This word appeared after an accident in John Bobbit’s family where John’s wife cut off his “manhood.” However, the dubbing authors decided to replace this moment with a joke about a famous Israeli singer who is known for his really high voice. Of course, David D’Or, the singer, didn’t like the joke. In fact, he sued the cartoon’s authors for the inappropriate joke.


6. Shin Chan was banned in India for use of inappropriate language and promoting mischievous behaviour, including nudity.

The cartoon aired in India in 2006, but soon the character’s behaviour and attitude became a matter of concern. Many parents complained about Shin Chan’s behaviour and the treatment of adult characters on the show. Eventually, the cartoon was banned in 2008. 


7. Winnie The Pooh was banned in China after popular internet memes compared the appearance of Chinese President Xi Jinping with that of pooh.

In July 2017, this cartoon was not taken off air by the Chinese government after memes comparing the appearance of Chinese President Xi Jinping with that of Pooh started doing rounds on the internet. The government’s strict opposition to any form of mockery against their leader also led them to blocking pooh images on the internet.


8. An episode of Pokemon was banned on TV in Japan, Turkey and the Arab League after it was deemed harmful to kids’ health. 

In one particular episode, there was a strange explosion accompanied by bright blue and red flashes with a frequency of 12 Hz. This resulted in children complaining about their health. Some even experienced partial vision loss, convulsions, and loss of consciousness. And, more than 600 kids were hospitalized. This incident was later known as the “Pokemon Shock.”


9. Steven Universe was banned in Kenya and several other middle eastern countries for featuring gay themes and characters. 

In 2017, Kenya’s Film Classification Board banned Steven Universe, from airing within the country because it was judged to be “pro-gay.” In a statement defending its action, the KFCB claimed that the shows “are intended to introduce children to deviant behaviour.”


10. Animated cartoon Cow and Chicken was banned in India because the show’s animal protagonist (cow) didn’t sit quite well with the broadcasters. 

The cow’s character in the cartoon is frequently seen on the receiving end of slapstick violence. And, since cows are worshipped and termed sacred in Hinduism, the cartoon was taken off air as it was seen as a mockery of the sacred animal. The grossed-out jokes or sexual innuendoes in the cartoon were also objectionable. 


Not as innocent as we would like to think. Huh?!

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